How Many Birthday Parties Have You Had, Pop?

One of the tough things about grandchildren is answering those nasty little questions they insist on asking. This little guy has not only reminded me every time we met for the past year that he was at my 80th birthday party, he is now branching out into other questions as the full implication sinks in. Like “if that was number 80, Pop, there must have been others, right?”

“Gee, Pop, you have had 79 other birthdays! Can you remember them all?”
Should I tell him that sometimes I have a problem remembering his name?
“I can remember a few but not the ones when I was very young, like you.”
“Tell me about one of them, Pop.”
“We went on a cruise on a big ship out to sea. That was a great birthday.”
“And another one?”
Is he going to say that 78 more times? “The whole family went out to dinner to a nice restaurant. We ate and drank and there was a big cake at the end. We had a great time.”
“What are you going to do next time, Pop?”
“We are going to have a big party at your house! How does that sound? Then you will be there too!”

“Are you going to have more birthdays, Pop?”
“I hope so!” He’s going to ask how many more, I bet you.
“I hope so too, Pop!”
“How many have you had? I pull the old switcheroo on him.
“Um, I’m 9, Pop.”
“So how many birthdays have you had?”
“Eight?”
“Good boy. Wanna go over to the ice-cream shop?”
“You know I do, Pop! Can I ask you a question?”
“Um, okay,” I say without enthusiasm.
“How come your ears are creased?”

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